Showing posts with label foodie mysteries. Show all posts
Showing posts with label foodie mysteries. Show all posts

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Maya Corrigan's Scam Chowder and Olive Spread #recipe #giveaway

Today Mystery Lovers Kitchen welcomes guest Maya Corrigan. The second book in her Five-Ingredient Mystery series, Scam Chowder, came out on June 30th.

MAYA CORRIGAN: Val Deniston, the sleuth in the series, quit her New York job as a cookbook publicist and moved in with her demanding grandfather. While running a café in a historic Chesapeake Bay town, she tests recipes for her long-planned cookbook . . . and solves murders. In By Cook or by Crook (2014), her grandfather keeps the reason for his sudden interest in cooking a secret from Val. By paring down her recipes to five ingredients and passing them off as his own, he’s acquiring a reputation as the town’s food guru, the Codger Cook. 

In the second book of the series, Scam Chowder, Granddad throws a dinner party. He conceals from Val the real reason for the party—to expose one of his guests as a financial scammer targeting retirees. Val’s job is to prepare the meal and then disappear so Granddad can take all the credit for it. Though he complains that one of the appetizers she makes is ugly, it’s a hit with his guests (recipe below). A hit of another sort takes place when the next course is on the table, and the suspected scammer goes facedown in the chowder. With Granddad the prime suspect in the con artist’s murder, Val and her grandfather must work together to find out who poisoned the scammer’s chowder. 

Each book in the series includes Granddad’s five-ingredient recipes. The following spread is a yummy appetizer, similar to tapenade. The addition of raisins and walnuts makes it less salty than tapenade. As Val’s grandfather says, it’s not a pretty appetizer, but chopped parsley on top makes it more colorful and appealing.

Olive-Raisin-Walnut Spread

Serves 8 as an appetizer.

½ cup pitted Kalamata olives, drained
¼ cup chopped walnuts
½ cup raisins
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
Optional: parsley to sprinkle on top
Combine all the ingredients in a food processor. Chop until the mix holds together enough that it can be spread. Sprinkle chopped parsley on top for color. Serve with pita chips or bread. The spread complements hummus and even works well as a sandwich spread when mixed with hummus. 

Maya Corrigan writes the Five-Ingredient Mysteries set on Maryland’s Eastern Shore: By Cook or by Crook (2014) and Scam Chowder (2015). She won the 2013 Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in unpublished Mystery/Suspense and the 2015 New England Reader’s Award for Mystery. When not reading and writing, she enjoys theater, tennis, trivia, cooking, and crosswords. Her website features book news, recipes, trivia, and quizzes about mysteries.

To enter a giveaway for a signed copy of Scam Chowder, leave a comment with an email address.

Visit Maya at her website or on Facebook
Sign up for her newsletter here.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Dorie Greenspan's Easy Almond Cake #recipe @LucyBurdette

LUCY BURDETTE: You saw the meatloaf I made last week for a friend's "new job, new life" celebration. I wanted to make a cake too, but nothing too labor intensive. 

When she's not eating, cooking, or blogging, Lucy Burdette writes the Key West food critic mystery series.
 Fatal Reservations, the sixth book in the series, will be in bookstores on July 7, but you can certainly order it now!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Birthday Pound Cake with Peaches @LucyBurdette

LUCY BURDETTE:  I had the delightful assignment of making a birthday cake for an 80th birthday party a couple of weeks ago. When I asked what flavor the birthday boy would like, here's what he said: fruity, juicy, chocolate-y, any or all!


That leaves the door wide open, right?  I wanted something that would leave leftovers and provide a foil for the last of our stunning fall peaches. But special enough for a wonderful man. Company pound cake came to mind...

You can find a recipe for a pound cake in just about any general or dessert cookbook. They all have lots of butter, eggs, and sugar in common. But a few things make this one different.

I borrowed the sour cream idea from Southern Living, and then added my favorite flavoring combination--vanilla and almond. The eggs I used were extra-large and that made for a very fluffy cake. Be sure to butter the bunt pan liberally. And consider using the sprinkled sugar technique that Krista (?) introduced a couple of months ago. I didn't remember until too late and so the cake came out a little patchy. In the good news department, that allowed me some little pieces to sample:).


    •    1 1/2 cups butter, softened
    •    3 cups sugar
    •    6 large eggs
    •    3 cups all-purpose flour
    •    1/2 teaspoon salt
    •    1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    •    1 (8-oz.) container sour cream
    •    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    •    1/2 teaspoon almond extract
    •    6-8 ripe peaches, peeled, sliced and mixed with a teaspoon or so of sugar


Prepare the peaches and let them sit at room temperature while you make the cake. Beat the butter until soft, either with a hand or stand mixer. Slowly add the sugar, continuing to beat until light and fluffy. 

Beat the extracts and the eggs in, one by one, mixing after each until yolks disappear.


Sift the dry ingredients together, and then add this mixture to the batter, alternating with sour cream. Begin and end with the dry.


Pour into a greased and floured 12-cup tube pan.


I know, it's kind of ugly:)

Bake at 325 for about an hour and ten minutes. Check the doneness with a wooden skewer. Cool on a wire rack for ten minutes, then turn the cake out onto a plate. 

but who cares once the peaches are loaded on!

Serve with sliced peaches.

The birthday boy still has what it takes--we love you Joe!

MURDER WITH GANACHE, the fourth Key West mystery, is in stores now. DEATH WITH ALL THE TRIMMINGS will be out in December.

 Follow Lucy on Facebook

And Twitter

And Pinterest.

And don't forget, DEADLY ADVICE, the first advice column mystery (written as Roberta Isleib) is finally available as an ebook.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Corn, Potato, and Sausage Chowder

LUCY BURDETTE: On days when I have a lot of words to write--or if I'm imagining I'm on staff at the Key West Police Department (right), I need a fast dinner--but yummy of course! My stepmother used to make a corn chowder recipe that involved sausage, butter, and creamed corn, and probably some heavy cream too. It was delicious, but the kind of thing I always felt a little guilty eating. Over the years I've streamlined her recipe and we still love it. It's easy as cherry pie from a can and hearty enough to serve as supper. Tonight we're having it with a nice green salad, topped with avocado and pepper slices.


 32 oz box of chicken broth (organic if you prefer)
1 12-16 oz roll of pork sausage (or use 6 or so links of chicken sausage)
1 large onion, chopped
2 large Idaho potatoes, chopped into thin slices
12 oz bag of frozen corn (of course, if it's corn season, feel free to use fresh!) I prefer the white shoepeg corn, but it wasn't available this time.

Fry up the sausage until brown, breaking up the roll into bite-sized pieces as it cooks. Drain these well on a plate lined with paper towels.

In the same pan, with almost all of the grease drained off, saute the onions until brown. Pour the broth into a large stockpot, add the cooked sausage, the cooked onions, and the raw potato slices. Bring this to a simmer and cook until the potatoes start to get soft. (Maybe 15 minutes?) Add the corn and simmer another five minutes. You could add a dash of milk or cream at the end, but we like it just as it is. Maybe garnish with a couple of cranks of cracked pepper--and enjoy!

I'm afraid this recipe has nothing to do with Key West, but man and woman cannot live by Key Lime pie alone, right? Although I went to a book launch party last night for David Sloan's THE ULTIMATE KEY LIME PIE COOKBOOK--and he seems to think Key Lime goes with about everything! And it certainly would make a nice dessert after you've eaten a healthy soup and salad for supper...

Meanwhile, don't forget that TOPPED CHEF will be out in May! But you can pre-order the book today. And then please follow Lucy on Twitter,  Facebook, and Pinterest too.  

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Pate de Fruits or Apricot Jam?

Okay, I'm in the experimental phase. Is that a summer thing? Does sunshine make me feel more daring? Possibly. For whatever reason, I'm trying different things in the kitchen. Here's one more experiment. Bear with me.

A few weeks ago, I shared a CHEESE PLATTER  that had some fun little candy-looking squares on it. The squares were fruit, and they had the consistency of a gumdrop, soft and chewy. They added just the perfect amount of sweetness to a bite of cheese and there was no mess.

I wanted to know how to make them, so I went on line and looked up what they might be. I'd never seen them before.  They are called Pate de Fruits.  The recipe looked simple, but other than fudge and peanut brittle, I have never made candy.

I bought  pectin, which is a hetereopolysaccharide. Yeah, I know. Way more than you or I want to know. Simply put, it's a gelling agent.

I had fresh apricots from my step-son's tree. I had sugar, lemons, and a candy thermometer.

How hard could making these little suckers be? Note: The recipe warned me to wear potholders because the concoction can spit. My daring, um, quaked...

I started to get a little scared.

Don't be. Nothing spit. I did not get hurt. You won't either.



1 cup fruit puree ** see RECIPE below
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/8 cup water
3/4 tablespoons pectin powder


Wear long sleeves. You do not want to get burned by boiling sugar! {It didn't spit that much, but better safe than sorry, right?}

You need a sugar/candy thermometer.

Mix 1 1/2 tablespoons of the sugar with pectin. Whisk together.
Heat the fruit puree in a deep saucepan to 120 degrees.
Add the pectin mixture and whisk. Bring to boil for one minute.
Mix rest of sugar and 1/8 cup water. Add this to the saucepan. Cook to 223 degrees. This could take a ton of time. (But it didn’t take a long time for my concoction. Go figure.)

Now for some, your thermometer will rise steadily and you’ll think, “I’m close,” but it isn’t so. (Except for me, it was. I'm not sure why. Maybe my heat was too high? Nothing burned.) Keep going.

At 223 degrees, pour the mixture into an (prepare ahead) 8x8 pan, which has been lined with heavy plastic wrap. Let the mixture set to room temperature. It will cool so that it is sliceable.  This might take a long time. (It did. All night.)

Now the recipe I got from the internet said I could cut the resulting candy into any shape, with cookie cutters or knife. But my experiment didn't gel up that much. It tasted terrific, but it was more the texture of a very thick jam. I was able to make a few squares out of it. I rolled them in granulated sugar  (extra to the recipe above). 

The JAM was absolutely fabulous on a cracker with cheese, on toast, on ice cream.

Note: If your texture comes out better than mine, then for kids, you can make a “Sourpatch” taste, by rolling in sugar that has been laced with lemon or lime juice.

Apricot Puree Recipe
12 apricots
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon water

To peel the apricots, fill a saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Using tongs, dip an apricot into the water, set aside. When all apricots have been dunked, peel them. The skins should slip off pretty easily. Remove pits.

Put the apricots into a blender. Add the juice and water and puree.  Pour mixture into a container. Set in the refrigerator until ready to use. (No more than 24 hours.)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Book 2 in A Cheese Shop Mystery series launched in May: Lost and Fondue. If you'd like to order a copy, click this booksellers link on my website. To see a trailer, click HERE. To read an excerpt, click HERE. If you you'd like to find out more about the series or want to download a few recipes from me (on recipe cards, including a recipe for fondue), click HERE. And be sure to catch me on my other blog, Killer Characters, and on Facebook and Twitter @AveryAames.  SAY CHEESE!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Cornbread BLT with Cheese

Hi. I'm at a writers and fans conference called Thrillerfest this week in New York, so I have to admit that I didn't make this sandwich last night or even last week. I was too busy packing, planning, stressing. But would you even know if I didn't tell you? Not about the packing and stressing but the baking?

This was an experiment that I just had to try. I adore corn bread. Being gluten-free, it's one of the few breads that I can make that keeps the original consistency I remember as a girl. I thought wouldn't it be great to have a cornbread BLT. I don't think I saw the idea on any food channels, but one never knows.

Anyway, I made my handy-dandy cornbread recipe, let it cool completely, sliced the pieces in halves, grilled the corn bread and added the makings of a great BLT in the middle. With cheese, of course. The results was so delicious I wanted, three.  I settled for one. But yum!

Pardon the short post. I'm on my way to a meeting. I hope the deliciousness of the meal will suffice for this week.

Hugs to all.

Avery's Corbread BLT with Cheese

First the Cornbread:


1 ½ cup milk, plus 2 tablespoons
2 eggs
1/3 cup melted butter
¼ cup maple syrup plus 1 tablespoon
1 cup cornmeal (gluten-free)
½ cup sweet white rice flour
½ cup potato starch
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon xanthan gum
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder


Mix all together.
Pour into 8 x 8 pan that has been oiled.
Bake at 400 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes. 
Remove from oven. Let cool slightly.

Now for the sandwich:

Serves 4

[Recipe for corn bread above, baked in an 8 x 8 pan]

4 ounces Fromager de Affinois (which Krista told me about and is sublime!)
8 slices bacon, crumbled
2 Roma tomatoes, sliced thin


Bake corn bread according to recipe, in an 8 x 8 pan.  Let cool.  Cut in 4 squares. Remove from pan and slice, using serrated knife, into thin slices (bread-thick).  Set aside.

Griddle or microwave bacon.  When done to crispiness desired, sprinkle with paprika and pepper. Crumble into bite-sized pieces. {It’s easier to eat this way}

Slice tomatoes and separate the lettuce.

Heat a griddle. Butter the “bumpy” sides of the corn bread. Lay the butter sides down on the griddle.  Top 4 of the slices with the Fromager de Affinois cheese.   Cook the bread on low until warmed through.  Do not overcook.

Assemble the BLT: Corn bread with cheese, tomatoes, lettuce.  Top with bacon bits and the other slice of corn bread.


* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Book 2 in A Cheese Shop Mystery series launched in May: Lost and Fondue. If you'd like to order a copy, click this booksellers link on my website. To see a trailer, click HERE. To read an excerpt, click HERE. If you you'd like to find out more about the series or want to download a few recipes from me (on recipe cards, including a recipe for fondue), click HERE. And be sure to catch me on my other blog, Killer Characters, and on Facebook and Twitter @AveryAames.  SAY CHEESE!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Grilled summer veggies!

I love summer. I love to barbecue. I love to sit outside and read a book while I barbecue. Perhaps sip a glass of wine. It's like a mini-vacation while making dinner.

And last night, while barbecuing, I thought there must be famous quotes about barbecuing. I mean, we've had all these famous people over the years grilling, having their pictures on the front of a magazine, the front of a newspaper, a grill fork in their hands, sloppy smiles slapped on their faces.

So I looked for a few pithy words,  and I found some of the silliest websites I've ever found. I thought I'd share a bit of their silliness. Hopefully you'll smile. Because we can't take barbecuing seriously, right? 

We want to, and we probably know some that do (the dictators who won't let you near their know who I mean), but we shouldn't take it seriously.

Silly quotes from the Frugal Yankee:

"It is better to have burnt and lost, then never to have barbecued at all" - William Shakespeare

"It is a far, far better barbecue that I have now, than I have ever had before" - Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

"BBQ’ing is one percent inspiration, and ninety-nine percent perspiration" - Thomas Edison

"Ich bin ein Barbequer" - J F Kennedy

"Spare rib anyone?" - Adam

"Invite couples with children - everyone loves children - espically if they are cooked properly" - WC Fields

Done laughing?
Okay, me, too.

One of my favorite sides to serve with a barbecue is grilled vegetables. You can use whatever looks fresh at the grocers. I like my greens and I love onions and mushrooms, so that's what's on my plate.
You don't need a lot to make them taste fabulous. 

Summer Grilled Vegetables

Grilled vegetables
[I used pumpkin, onions, yellow onions, zucchini, red onions, mushrooms, asparagus]
Balsamic vinegar
Olive oil
Sea Salt
White or black pepper
Parmesan Cheese

Heat your grill to high. ** I like to use a grill grid (something non-stick) that sits on top of the grill. This keeps the vegetables from falling through to the coals.

Slice the onions in wide chunks.
Peel the pumpkin, removing the rind, and slice the pumpkin in thick slices.
Slice the zucchini in thick slices.
Wash the mushrooms.
Brush the vegetables with balsamic vinegar and then with oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Brush the grill grid with olive oil. Set the vegetables on the grid for three to four minutes a side, charring slightly.

Serve with Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.

For other barbecue-related recipes from our very own Mystery Lovers Kitchen try:

Riley's Dr. Pepper Barbecue Sauce
Avery's Burgers and Blue
Cleo's Fire-fighters Ribs
Avery's Strawberry Shortcake (Gluten-free)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Book 2 in A Cheese Shop Mystery series launched in May: Lost and Fondue. If you'd like to order a copy, click this booksellers link on my website. To see a trailer, click HERE. To read an excerpt, click HERE. If you you'd like to find out more about the series or want to download a few recipes from me (on recipe cards, including a recipe for fondue), click HERE. And be sure to catch me on my other blog, Killer Characters, and on Facebook and Twitter @AveryAames.  SAY CHEESE!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Chicken Parmesan with a Twist

I used to cater (for a brief moment in my life).

It was a way for me to make a little cash during college. I also waited tables, managed a restaurant, and ran the kitchen at a camp. I learned how to make hordes of food for, well, hordes. When I got married, we liked to have a little holiday party. Soon the holiday party became 100 people. At my house. It wasn't a problem. I like a crowd. Expensive, but not a problem. Yes, I'm a little bit weird, I know. Please don't hold it against me. My sister gets nervous having a more than three people over. I get it.

 [My husband and I have since pared our party down to just family again. It's lovely, manageable. I'm growing increasingly sane.]

Anyway, when I catered, one of my specialties was making fried chicken. Oh, how I love fried chicken!!! But because I now have to eat gluten-free, fried chicken is out. No ifs, ands, or buts. No regular flour. So I've learned to be creative. Sure, I could dredge the chicken in rice flour and fry away, but I still want something crunchy. I came up with making my coating out of gluten-free rice cereal.

And then I decided to add cheese. [I know, I know. I'm a little cheese-happy this past year.] I thought if I added cheese to the
mix, it might make the fried crust chewy.

Well, it did!

Here's my experimental recipe.

By the way, it's not just for people who need to eat gluten-free. It's delicious, if I do say so myself.



4 breasts of chicken
½ cup rice cereal
½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated

1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon parsley
1 teaspoon ground pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg whites

Mix rice cereal, spices and cheese. Spread evenly on 9x13 pan that has ben covered with foil.
Rub chicken breasts with egg whites. Press skin side down on the rice mixture.
Seal the foil and bake chicken in oven for 1 hour at 300 degrees F.
Remove from oven. Turn oven to broil. Open foil and turn the chicken, meat side up. Return to oven for 10 minutes on broil.
Serve warm.
* * *
If you would like a DOWNLOADABLE version of this recipe,
click this LINK.

Visit Avery at her website.